Swietenia macrophylla - King
Aguano
Other English Common Names: Baywood, Broad-leaved Mahogany, Honduras Mahogany, Mahoghany
Other Common Names: Honduras mahogany
Taxonomic Status: Accepted
Related ITIS Name(s): Swietenia macrophylla King (TSN 29027)
Spanish Common Names: Caoba
Unique Identifier: ELEMENT_GLOBAL.2.151735
Element Code: PDMLC04010
Informal Taxonomy: Plants, Vascular - Flowering Plants - Other flowering plants
 
Kingdom Phylum Class Order Family Genus
Plantae Anthophyta Dicotyledoneae Sapindales Meliaceae Swietenia
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Concept Reference
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Concept Reference: Kartesz, J.T. 1999. A synonymized checklist and atlas with biological attributes for the vascular flora of the United States, Canada, and Greenland. First edition. In: Kartesz, J.T., and C.A. Meacham. Synthesis of the North American Flora, Version 1.0. North Carolina Botanical Garden, Chapel Hill, N.C.
Concept Reference Code: B99KAR01HQUS
Name Used in Concept Reference: Swietenia macrophylla
Taxonomic Comments: Accepted by Kartesz (1999), as an escape from cultivation in Hawaii. Recorded as Swietenia tessmannii Harms by Santos (1987).
Conservation Status
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NatureServe Status

Global Status: G4
Global Status Last Reviewed: 23Jun1996
Global Status Last Changed: 23Mar1993
Rounded Global Status: G4 - Apparently Secure
Reasons: Swietenia macrophylla, native to southern Mexico, Central and South America, and perhaps the most valuable timber in the whole of tropical Latin America, is a species with an extensive tropical distribution from the north of the State of Veracruz to Yucatan in Mexico, and along the north Atlantic slope of Central America to Venezuela and Brazil. Also occurs in Colombia, Peru, and Bolivia (Pennington 1981). In Brazil it occurs over a wide area from the Vale do Sao Francisco, the Zona da Mata, and Estado de Minas Gerais. It is particularly abundant in Caceras, and near the Tocantins and Araguaia rivers (Brown 1978). In Bolivia found in the departments of Cocha Bamba, La Paz, Santa Cruz and Pando, in Amazon seasonal forest between 250 and 850 m alt. (Killeen, Garcia and Beck 1993). As the species has been extensively planted in Panama, it is not possibly to ascertain its natural distribution there (Escobar 1982). Occasional to wetlands in Brazil (Loureiro, da Silva and Alencar 1979). Usually found in dry forest but also occurs in moist and gallery forest, from zero to 1500 m altitude. Swietenia macrophylla is usually distributed sparsely throughout the forest, occurring either as widley separated single trees or small clusters. The species has been introduced to Florida, Puerto Rico and Virgin Islands, Cuba, Trinidad and Tobago, India and other tropical areas [Little and Wadsworth 1964], including Hawaii, Samoa, and Fiji. Widely planted throughout the whole of the tropics as a forest crop and currently provides almost all mahogany on the commercial market. Present supplies are becoming more inaccessible and scarce due to exploitation (Pennington 1981). International Tropical Timber Organization (1995) reports volume of timber exported from Bolivia between 1993 and 1994 to have been 160,000 m3. While it is reported to be relatively secure in El Salvador and Honduras, the status of Honduras mahogany in Costa Rica, Mexico, Panama, and Bolivia is known to be either Extinct, Endangered, Vulnerable, or Rare. The species is Vulnerable in Nicaragua, Rare in Colombia and Endangered within its natural boundaries in Guatemala and the following regions in Brazil: Acre, Amazonas, Goias, Maranhao, Mato Grosso, Para, and Rondonia (World Conservation Monitoring Center 1992 in Tree Talk 1994).
Nation: United States
National Status: NNA

U.S. & Canada State/Province Status
Due to latency between updates made in state, provincial or other NatureServe Network databases and when they appear on NatureServe Explorer, for state or provincial information you may wish to contact the data steward in your jurisdiction to obtain the most current data. Please refer to our Distribution Data Sources to find contact information for your jurisdiction.
United States Hawaii (SNA)

Other Statuses

NatureServe Global Conservation Status Factors

Range Extent Comments: Extensive tropical distribution from the north of the State of Veracruz to Yucatan in Mexico, and along the north Atlantic slope of Central America to Venezuela and Brazil. Also occurs in Colombia, Peru, and Bolivia (Pennington 1981). In Brazil from the Vale do Sao Francisco, the Zona da Mata, and Estado de Minais Gerais. Caceras, and near the Tocantins and Araguaia rivers (Brown 1978). In Bolivian departments of Cocha Bamba, La Paz, Santa Cruz and Pando, (Killeen 1993). Debido a que el caoba ha sido plantado extensivamente, es imposible acertar su formal distribución en Panamá (Escobar 1982).

Overall Threat Impact Comments: S. macrophylla is perhaps one of the most valuable timbers in the whole of tropical Latin America (Pennington 1981).

Other NatureServe Conservation Status Information

Distribution
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Global Range: Extensive tropical distribution from the north of the State of Veracruz to Yucatan in Mexico, and along the north Atlantic slope of Central America to Venezuela and Brazil. Also occurs in Colombia, Peru, and Bolivia (Pennington 1981). In Brazil from the Vale do Sao Francisco, the Zona da Mata, and Estado de Minais Gerais. Caceras, and near the Tocantins and Araguaia rivers (Brown 1978). In Bolivian departments of Cocha Bamba, La Paz, Santa Cruz and Pando, (Killeen 1993). Debido a que el caoba ha sido plantado extensivamente, es imposible acertar su formal distribución en Panamá (Escobar 1982).

U.S. States and Canadian Provinces

Due to latency between updates made in state, provincial or other NatureServe Network databases and when they appear on NatureServe Explorer, for state or provincial information you may wish to contact the data steward in your jurisdiction to obtain the most current data. Please refer to our Distribution Data Sources to find contact information for your jurisdiction.
Color legend for Distribution Map
NOTE: The distribution shown may be incomplete, particularly for some rapidly spreading exotic species.

U.S. & Canada State/Province Distribution
United States HIexotic

Range Map
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Ecology & Life History
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Basic Description: Large deciduous tree, 35-40 (-60) m, Meliaceae.
Duration: PERENNIAL, Long-lived
Habitat Comments: Occasional in wetlands (Loureiro, da Silva and Alencar 1979). Amazon seasonal forest (Killeen 1993). Dry forest and in moist and gallery forest (Pennington 1981).
Economic Attributes
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Economically Important Genus: Y
Commercial Importance: Indigenous crop, Minor cash crop
Economic Uses: Building materials/timber
Production Method: Cultivated, Wild-harvested
Economic Comments: It is perhaps the world's premiere cabinet wood and possibly the most valuable timber tree in Latin America. Although the timber is considered inferior to S. mahogani, almost all the mahogany on the commercial market at present is provided by S. macrophylla (Pennington 1981). The wood is also highly esteemed for fine furniture, interior trim, musical instruments, turnery and carving (Chudnoff 1993) and is used for high-class internal and external joinery and flooring (Brown 1978-79). It is also used extensively in shipbuilding in both large passenger vessels and small boats. Because of its durability, stability in use, and good weathering properties, the timber is used for planking on yachts and small boats and also for shells of racing or speed boats (Great Britain Timber Development Association Ltd., year not given in Longwood 1962). In some countries it is the preferred wood for burial caskets because of its attractive appearance. Mahogany is particularly adaptable for use in molds, dies, and pattern making. A large portion of all mahogany is used in the form of veneer and plywood. Export supplies of forest-grown timber are largely confined to Mexico, Belize, Honduras and South America (Longwood 1962). The species is exploited with certainty in Costa Rica (Alvarez 1991). Considerable supplies are still available in Mexico, Guatemala and South America though these are becoming more and more inaccessible and scarce (Pennington 1981). ***** The species bears similarity to S. mahogani and is considered as one of the most prized woods of Amazonia. The wood is used in luxury cabinet work, internal decor, civil construction, planking, small boats, rulers, decorative objects and other desktop items (Santos 1987).
Management Summary Not yet assessed
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Population/Occurrence Delineation Not yet assessed
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Population/Occurrence Viability
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U.S. Invasive Species Impact Rank (I-Rank) Not yet assessed
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Authors/Contributors
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NatureServe Conservation Status Factors Edition Date: 16Jun1992
NatureServe Conservation Status Factors Author: Blythe, K. (TNC-LASP, 1992)
Element Ecology & Life History Edition Date: 01Aug1995
Element Ecology & Life History Author(s): JASTER, T. (TNC-LASP)

Botanical data developed by NatureServe and its network of natural heritage programs (see Local Programs), The North Carolina Botanical Garden, and other contributors and cooperators (see Sources).

References
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  • Alvarez, Luis and Jorge Poveda. 1991. Arboles Maderables Nativos de Costa Rica. Museo Nacional de Costa Rica. San José, Costa Rica.

  • Brown, W.H. 1978-1979. Timbers of the world: volumes 2 and 9. Timber Research and Development Association, England.

  • Brucher, H. 1989. Useful Plants of Neotropical Origin and Their Wild Relatives. Springer-Verlag. New York. 296 pp.

  • Chudnoff, Martin. 1993. Tropical Timbers of the World. Handbook number 607. USDA Forest Service, Washington, D.C.

  • Escobar, C.G. Características y usos de 19 especies con valor comercial en Panamá. Organización de las Naciones Unidas para la Agricultura y la Alimentación, Panama.

  • International Tropical Timber Organization. 1995. Annual Review and Assessment of the Tropical Timber Situation 1993 - 1994. Yokohama, Japan. Document G1-7/93-94.

  • Kartesz, J.T. 1999. A synonymized checklist and atlas with biological attributes for the vascular flora of the United States, Canada, and Greenland. First edition. In: Kartesz, J.T., and C.A. Meacham. Synthesis of the North American Flora, Version 1.0. North Carolina Botanical Garden, Chapel Hill, N.C.

  • Killeen, T., E. García & S. G. Beck. Guía de árboles de Bolivia. 958 pp. Herbario Nacional de Bolivia y Missouri Botanical Garden. Quipus S.R.L. La Paz Bolivia.

  • Little, E., Jr. & Wadsworth, F. 1964. Common Trees of Puerto Rico and the Virgin Islands. 548 páges.

  • Pennington, T. D. 1981. Flora Neotropica: Monograph No. 28. Meliaceae. Organization for Flora Neotropica: New York Botanical Garden, New York. 470p.

  • Santos, Eurico. 1987. Nossas Madeiras. Chapter IV. Editora Itatiaia Limitada, Brazil.

  • Woods of the World Compact (IBM Windows), [CD-ROM]. (1994). Available: Tree Talk.

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